The city of Foley will use almost five million dollars in federal grant money to build a pedestrian bridge over Highway 59 and make other improvements for pedestrian safety.
Walking across highway 59 in downtown Foley can be tricky even in the off season. 4 point 7 million dollars in federal grant money will help make that walk a little safer.
"Allow for cross walks, buttons and stuff like that and then there's about 30 miles of improvements to pedestrian routes," says city administrator Mike Thompson.
Trying to cross 59 in the middle of the summer, you take your life in your own hands. So one of the key components of the new projects will allow pedestrians to walk over all the traffic instead of through it.
"One of the 36 items with that grant is creating a pedestrian bridge across 59," says Thompson.
It will be built just north of highway 98. "It's very busy. It's very wide and we feel like having a pedestrian bridge to connect the east and west side of our city will go a long way," according to Thompson.
A bridge over heavy traffic wouldn't be Lester Stuckey's first choice. "I think we need to take care of the streets and pave them first and then go from there." But walking through town instead of driving would be a plus for Judy Whalen. "Most of the time you have to go all the back roads to get in and through and around because traffic is so congested in this area."
Improvements to sidewalks, cross walks, bike paths and intersections along with construction of a pedestrian bridge should begin next spring.
The city of Foley will add one and a half million dollars with the grant money making the total cost of improvements at just over 6 million dollars.